Hobbies I’ve Stopped


Weeks before our move, I cleaned my bedroom and studio. In the beginning I rewarded myself, “Only thirty minutes of cleaning, then you can have the rest of the day off.” Each day got a little easier because I could see the work in front of me. This necessitated many difficult decision-making conversations with myself. For example, I had a chifferobe full of knitting supplies. I was a poser knitter for about two years after the birth of my third child. At some point I realized I’d spent six precious writing hours knitting a holey baby hat. With limited time on my hands the knitting phase passed and I was left with all the “stuff.” What would I do with the beautiful baskets, the bamboo needles of various sizes, the instruction books and the richly colored skeins of yarn? I took a deep breath and gave it all away. As I did I said, “I’m no longer a knitter.”

A similar situation presented itself with my scrapbook supplies. I’d been a scrapper for almost ten years when I started working with online photo books and saving precious hours. If I wasn’t spending time on stickers, colored paper and dry embossing, what would that open up for me? Like knitting, scrapbooking is a wonderful hobby for many, but not for a full-time coach, wife, mom of three and passionate writer; I don’t do it all.

We often announce when we take up a new hobby or activity.
“I’ve started juicing!”
“I am doing the couch to 5K” or,
“I’m taking a class to make decorative cupcakes.”

Those are all fine and good things to do, but I think it’s also important to celebrate when we’ve stopped too. When we raise up what we are saying “no” to, we can better say “yes” to other life-affirming opportunities.

It’s official. I’m no longer knitting or scrapping, which is why I’m blogging to you now.

What have you stopped doing lately? What possibilities does it open up for you?

11 thoughts on “Hobbies I’ve Stopped

  1. I’m undeclaring myself a scrapper too. I feel overwhelmed looking at the saved page projects awaiting me, years of certificates and accessories to adorn them, so I often don’t begin. There’s something to saving memories, but the time cutting scalloped paper to layer around the memories is over! I’m not that girl, and now I can plop them in an old fashioned photo album where folks can view them just as well.

    Hooray! I feel taller!

  2. I am pretty stingy with my time. I was a working mother from my early twenties and never had a lot of time for “hobbies.” When I got downtime, I read and wrote. Is this good or bad?

    This has implications for teachers. When they give D.O.L. what will they have time to do? Food for thought.

    • Shari, Those ‘what if’ questions about time are so important. I, for one, am thankful you read and wrote in your downtime. That’s what makes your work so great now.

  3. Heather, I really connected with your post! I recently cleaned out a large storage chest in the basement. I had tons of cross stitching books, threads, and even a project just begun. I also had quite a collection of dress, home decorating, and costume patterns along with scraps of material. It seems like a lifetime ago that I made my own and my kids clothes and adorned them with cross stitched motifs. But life moves on, and new interests take over. Now I have room for more books!

  4. 4.5 feet of water in my basement ended my scrapbooking career when almost all of my supplies were lost (but not the books, luckily). Though I mourned the loss of the thousands of dollars of supplies at the time, now I see it was a blessing in disguise. The knitting, stuff, though has stayed. About October I get the itch to make some holiday gifts or one of my daughters will request a hat. I stick to short, easy projects.

    It’s important to say NO to somethings every once in a while. This creates room for new YESes.

  5. Heather — we love this post! We do need to acknowledge that sometimes we need to celebrate what we are no longer doing. A wise mentor called it, “Weeding the Garden.” You can’t keep planting without ever weeding!! So important in life and in schools!! Maybe we “rehearse” different hobbies before we find the one we really have passion for –we are glad you have found your passion! Thanks
    Clare and Tammy

  6. This post and everyone’s comments are balm to my soul today! I am a crafter/sewer/gardener/decorator/quilter from way back! I passionately love my hobbies. However, I have also found time is short along with space in our home. Giving away many of these items has been hard. Helps to hear others are doing the same. On a positive, each day I am now committing to reading more books that are not always research and professional books! Loving it!

  7. I love this! A friend of mine recently told me about a book called Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, by Wayne Muller. I ordered a copy because I knew I needed it. Now,… I haven’t read it yet (which is both sad and ironic), but I guess it’s about this very thing – giving ourselves permission to rest and not be the do-it-all person – how that, in itself, is valuable.

    I’m undeclaring myself a guitar or ukelele player. Tried teaching myself and have to let it go, at least for now. I’d like to let some more things go, but don’t feel like I can, just yet. I’ll keep an open mind, though and see what I can discard next.

    • I have a wonderful image of a pile of ukeleles, knitting needles, fancy scrapbooking supplies and more. We all push back, put our hands behind our heads and say, “Look at what we didn’t accomplish today.”

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